Pittsburg artist reception set for Saturday

PITTSBURG -- The Pittsburg Arts Collaborative hosts an annual Winter Art Exhibit reception 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Impulse Gallery at 329 Railroad Ave.

The event feature cash awards, live music, hors d oeuvres and refreshments.

Guitarist Alvon Johnson will provide entertainment.

Calpine Corp. and the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation have joined Pacific Community Services Inc. as supporters for PACO s arts shows and projects.

For more information, go to www.pacoart.org or e-mail the group at pacoartshows@aol.com or contact Karen Nelson Kelly at 925-754-7666 or 925-439-1056.

Franc D Ambrosio solo performance in Antioch

ANTIOCH -- El Campanil Theatre presents Franc D Ambrosio performing many songs, including numbers from "Les Miserables and "Phantom Of The Opera, at 3 p.m. Sunday, 602 W. Second St.

D Ambrosio is best known for his more than 2,000 performances as the "Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber s Tony Award-winning musical, "The Phantom Of The Opera. Affectionately known as "The Iron Man of The Mask, he was awarded the distinction as the "World s Longest Running Phantom and retained this title for more than a decade.

Reserved seating is $25, $15 for children 17 and younger.

Tickets can be reserved by calling 925-757-9500 or online at www.elcampaniltheatre.com.

For more information about Franc D Ambrosio, go to www.francdambrosio.com.

International film series to show 'Shun Li and The Poet

ANTIOCH -- The International Film Showcase presents "Shun Li and The Poet at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 and 2 p.m. Jan. 27, El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. Second St. "Shun Li and the Poet relates the romantic and difficult friendship between a Chinese illegal immigrant and an old Italian fisherman, on an island of the Venetian lagoon facing economic changes.

After working in a textile factory in the suburbs of Rome, Shun Li, a woman in her 40s, moves to the small provincial town of Chioggia: she works as a waitress in an "osteria to pay for her freedom. Bepi, also called "the Poet by his friends, has been coming to the little bar for years.

The film tells the encounter between two worlds in a crisis: the world of Shun Li who has been forced to abandon her own roots and the world of Bepi who sees his roots transforming deeply because of the social changes of the region.

The Italian film has English subtitles.

The film is part of a collaborative effort with the International Film Showcase, which has a successful foreign film series in Orinda.

General admission is $8; seniors 62 and older and children, $7.

For tickets, call 925-757-9500 or reserve them online at www.elcampaniltheatre.com.

Smooth jazz with a touch of gospel

PITTSBURG -- The Los Medanos College Choral Department and prominent Oakland jazz spot Yoshi s will host a benefit concert 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 27, Jack London Square, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland.

The event will showcase saxophonist Angelo Luster, who has performed with legendary greats as Rosemary Clooney, Mercer Ellington and Maynard Ferguson, His musicianship has also afforded him to cross over to the gospel community performing with gospel artists, including Walter Hawkins, Daryl Coley and Kurt Carr. Luster celebrated the release of his first solo CD titled "Face 2 Face in 2004. In 2007 he released "Face 2 Face, The Vocal Sessions, which was voted Best Male Jazz Artist of 2005 by Urban Gospel Industry Award. He has also been honored by the American Gospel Music Awards as the Jazz Artist of the Year 2006 and 2007, and Bay Area Black Music Awards Best Gospel/Jazz Musician.

Proceeds will benefit the Los Medanos College Choral Division to assist with community educationally based events.

Admission is $20. Tickets can be purchased online at http://yoshis.inticketing.com.

For information about Los Medanos College music programs, call Henderson at

925-439-2181 or 925-565-6107.

Blues benefit concert at El Campanil Theatre

ANTIOCH -- El Campanil Theater will present a Blues Benefit Concert from 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 9.

Held at the historic El Campanil, the event will raise money for the free, annual Delta Blues Festival held each September in downtown Antioch.

The benefit concert s lineup includes Lionel Young Band, winner of the 2008 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn.; Andrew Jr. Boy Jones; local high energy blues band Frankie G & the Conviction featuring Kathy Tecjka and more.

Tickets are $35 (gold circle), $28 adults, $26 seniors, and $15 children (17 and younger). Call 925-757-9500 or visit www.elcampaniltheatre.com.

Youth art classes begin February

BRENTWOOD -- Brentwood Parks and Recreation kicks off a new program of art classes for youths starting in February.

"Art Fun for ages 5 through 7 meets 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 5 through March 12. Kids create beautiful, colorful original artwork using new materials and techniques each week. Age-appropriate art skills and concepts are introduced in a playful, encouraging setting.

"Drawing Master Class for Teens for ages 13 through 18 meets 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 5 through March 12. Students will strengthen their skills and refine their personal drawing style in this fun and challenging class. Exploring a wide variety of themes, projects will focus on lifework, composition, perspective, 3-D form, light and shadow, color, human proportions and more.

"Art Time Machine for ages 6 through 10 meets 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 6 through March 13. Students jump into an imaginary time machine to be inspired by art of the past, present and future. Each week focuses on a different era or master artist, with fun projects that let students create their own original interpretations of a theme.

"Advanced Drawing for ages 8 through 12 meets 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 6 through March 13. For students who already have some realistic drawing experience, this class takes their skills to the next level. Projects focus on observation, proportion, composition, perspective, three-dimensional form and texture.

All classes will be held at the Brentwood Community Center, 35 Oak St. For details, fees and registration, call Brentwood Parks and Recreation at 516-5444 or visit www.brentwoodca.gov/emotion.

Black History exhibit set in Antioch

ANTIOCH -- A collaboration of community partners is working together to showcase Black history at the Antioch Historical Society.

The Black History exhibit will feature a timeline in art, literature, and creative arts of the African-American experience in America. The timeline will highlight the homeland of Africa, slavery, the adaptation to the plantation, the church, the emancipation of the slaves, adaptation to freedom, the civil rights movement, and end with the historic election of Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the United States.

A free opening reception will be held at 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 2 at the museum, 1500 W. Fourth St.

The Black History Art Exhibit will run 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, Feb. 2-27.

The exhibit is a community partnership: Ruah Community Outreach Ministries Inc., Parent Partners Providing Education of Young Children, JTS Art Gallery, the Arts & Cultural Foundation of Antioch and the Antioch Historical Society Museum.

For more information, go to www.art4antioch.org/Black-History-Exhibit. asp, email Diane@Art4Antioch.org, or call Diane Gibson-Gray at 925-325-9897.

LHS Playmakers to present 'Peter Pan

BRENTWOOD -- The Liberty High School Playmakers will present "Peter Pan and Wendy at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday at the Allan E. Jones Performing Arts Center, 850 Second St.

The play, adapted by Douglas Rand from the novel by J.M. Barrie, is the troupe s first senior show as part of its annual Dramathon.

Tickets are available at the door 30 minutes before show time.

Cost is $5 for general admission, $3 for ages 10 and under. The show will be directed by senior Taylor Miller.

Art show benefits Special Haven

BRENTWOOD -- Art From the Heart, an art exhibit by individuals with special needs, is looking for artists for a show noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 12-16 at The Gallery on Second, 741 Second St.

The sale of the art will benefit Special Haven, a therapeutic, multi-sensory room developed to benefit children and adults with special needs. All schools and programs are welcome to participate.

To enter art work, call Mirna Remson at 925-890-2563, or email, mkaraha@sbcglobal.net for an entry form.

For information about Special Haven, go to www.specialhaven.org, or call 925-222-5322.

Piano Duo music and wine recital planned

BRENTWOOD -- Piano Duo Polyhymnia will present a music and wine recital at the Thompson Music Studio at 2628 Saint Andrews Drive.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Doors will open one-half hour before the performances.

The event features music by Schubert, Liszt, Brahms and Bartok inspired by the folk music of Hungary.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for 18 and younger. For reservations, call 925-513-7156 or email info@pianoduopolyhymnia.com.